by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
SolidWorks announced its customer portal, my.SolidWorks.com, as it kicks off its annual user meeting.
Currently in beta, and open to all (go to my.solidworks.com), it is mostly an aggregation of content previously found on SolidWorks websites, or published by select SolidWorks VARs, like FISHER/UNITECH, which is often supplies good tutorials for SolidWorks users. In addition, it has case histories, even a tweet or two. Some items are several months old so you may have seem them already. I see the most prolific SolidWorks employees (Marie Planchard, Greg Jankowski, Matt West) are well represented.
According to SolidWorks, content is just a start, as the plan is to provide a common interface to a host of offerings: articles, customer service, support... and probably targeted sales messages.
Clearly, a site like this would be most useful if could be customized per the interest of the individual user, such as what Amazon does by rearranging its "storefront" each time I enter, suggesting things I might like to buy. Knowing a user is in the automotive industry should place automotive content front and center, and not bother the user with case histories from electronic companies, or medical products, for example.
My.SolidWorks is also meant to be be customized, as are most "My" sites, though I'll have to take their word for it. I tried to log in, but could not, as it recognized me as previous user. An account long forgotten, I'm sure, but trying to regenerate a new password was also unsuccessful. Oh, that's beta sites for you! I'll try again, soon.
Anyway, could you not find all this content already on the www.solidworks.com site, I ask? SolidWorks says the search is much better. My.SolidWorks.com is built on Exalead, the French search engine purchased years ago by Dassault. Virtually unknown in the US, the acquisition had most CAD insiders scratching their heads as to what the CAD company was up to. Apparently, it has found some use among at least one of its divisions. My.SolidWorks.com also used the NetVibes technology, another head scratcher.
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.]